5 Things to Know About Your Fifth Semester
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5 Things to Know About Your Fifth Semester

The fifth semester will be the shortest of your medical education, but also the most pivotal and intensive. Here’s what to expect.

Basic Sciences Review

You’ll spend your last 10 weeks on the island reviewing everything you learned in the last four semesters combined – like a recap before the series finale. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll understand all the random clips thrown into that quick montage. If not, this may be a good time to rewatch the previous seasons.

Comp Exam

Before you can take the USMLE Step 1, you’ll need to pass a Comprehensive Shelf Exam. Good news: you have an unlimited number of attempts to pass it. Bad news: it’s just as intense as the USMLE Step 1. Think of it as your final practice test before the SAT. The score you receive on your final practice test is usually indicative of how you’ll do on the actual test day.

USMLE Step 1 Test Prep

After passing the Comp Exam, you’ll have time to focus on the USMLE Step 1. Go through every practice test you can get your hands on and look through our blog posts for great tips from our administration and many successful alumni.

One Year to Pass the USMLE Step 1

Having a plan is especially important for the USMLE Step 1, because you only have one year to pass after passing the Comp. No pressure. The best plan of attack? Sign up for the earliest USMLE Step 1 test date that you feel comfortable with, along with several back-up dates. Even if you don’t pass the first time, you’re already signed up for the next one. Don’t forget to study in between!

Entrance to Clinical Sciences

Congratulations! Once you’ve passed Step 1, you’ll be assigned a clinical coordinator so you can begin taking your core clinical rotations in hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. You’ll be that much closer to becoming a doctor.

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